You’re running a small business and everything is starting to take off for you. Whether you’re reselling products, making your own, or offering services, there is one factor they all have in common – You need to have an e-commerce site!
When looking for an e-commerce site, you want functionality, mobile-ready, easy check-out, and product versatility. Whether you’re new to selling, or have been running your business for years, you want a site that is ready-to-go and doesn’t have that “under construction” feel.
Top Two Choices:
SHOPIFY – My #1 Pick
- Shopify is the hallmark of e-commerce sites. With extraordinary versatility, hundreds of themes and apps, mobile-readiness, Shopify seriously has it all.
- It also offers automatic payment gateways from Shopify payments, to PayPal, to Amazon, and Apple Pay, your customers will have tons of options for ways to pay.
- Taxes are already configured for you! When I was searching for an ecommerce store for my personal business, the tax configuration was overwhelming, until Shopify, and this was my selling point. Even with over a hundred different rates in my state, Shopify does all the calculations for me!
- You do NOT need to be a Tech expert AT ALL. Shopify is extremely user-friendly; I was able to teach a group of entrepreneurs how to set up their entire store through Shopify in under an hour.
- Outstanding customer service. No matter which plan you choose, you can contact customer service day or night via chat, phone, or email, and they will respond to you ASAP, including follow-ups to ensure everything is working properly.
- Hundreds of app integrations, many of which are free, to make your site custom so you can provide the best service.
- Secure payments and secure sites which protect you and your customers.
- Ability to buy multiple domains and have them redirect to your site with ease.
- Awesome mobile app and point-of-sale options from big-to-little stores.
BIGCOMMERCE – My #2 Pick
- Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers top-notch security for payment gateways and for your site.
- Dozens of automatic integrated features like abandoned cart recovery, site statistics, and browsing information.
- Very easy to use and operate, even for the non-Tech savvy folks. Lots of just point-and-click or drag-and-drop integrations.
- Integration with super-sites like Alibaba and Mailchimp, which makes growing your business much easier.
- TONS of support videos and how-tos to teach you everything you need to know right away. Plus, they have some excellent technical support, as well.
- Beautiful out-of-the-box feel without graphic design knowledge needed.
- Easy check-out and product adding make changing your product lines super-quick.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer web-ready plans that start around $29 a month, which is relatively cheap considering how much they’re offering you. Definitely a bargain and well-worth the investment if your main focus is e-commerce.
If you’re starting super-small or only selling a limited number of products, a third option is SquareUp.
- Low cost credit-card processing, no monthly fees.
- Limited website where you can upload your products with relative ease.
- Up to $1000 of free credit-card processing when using the link above!
- Easy account set-up.
- Very easy credit card processing both for an online store or vendor affair.
Square is much more limited in its webstore, but, as mentioned above, if you just have a few items, it’s a good start.
What I Don’t Recommend
I am not a fan of Etsy or Amazon for selling- every time you have a new product, you pay to list it. Plus, you don’t have the beauty of designing your own website – you’re stuck in their grind. Also, it’s so easy to get lost in the noise of so many products on these websites, the competition is intense. When you get someone on your own website, they have full attention on you and your products.
WordPress is also an option, but you really need to have some excellent web designing skills and you have to pay for every little integration. WordPress creates beautiful websites, but you need a whole lot of initial investment.
If you’re going to spend the time and effort to create an e-commerce store, I highly recommend either Shopify or BigCommerce – both are reasonably equivalent in excellent design and structure, quality, and value.
This post was updated on 9/26/17. Links provided are affiliate links; however, all links provided have been tested and are honestly and sincerely recommended by the author.